Yuen Chen Siang

Special thanks to Muar Yuen Chen Siang for extending this product review invitation.

As Chinese New Year is approaching, it seems natural to introduce several bakkwa (肉干) brands. Today, it is turn for Muar Yuen Chen Siang (麻坡源珍香). Tracing its roots back to 1950s Muar, Yuen Chen Siang has over half century of history ever since the late founder, Master Goh (吴亲众师傅), started a small stall at a back alley adjoined to an opium store.
Owing to his unique recipe, Yuen Chen Siang's popularity traveled far and wide. Today, the baton has been passed to the third generation. Although Master Goh has passed on last year (age 91), his descendants have started several retails outlets throughout the country.

Despite its success, Yuen Chen Siang isn't resting on his laurels. Continuous innovation resulted in this White Curry Meat Jerky which I am reviewing today.

This pack of White Curry Meat Jerky (白咖喱肉干, RM50.00) is usually 500 grams, but this sample box contains 300 grams instead. The bakkwa slices are vacuum sealed to maintain freshness. The product comes in nice cardboard packaging, which is in turn presented in an elaborately-designed tote bag. This makes it a viable gift idea for Chinese New Year.
This bakkwa features Penang White Curry (槟城白咖喱) flavor which is unheard of in the bakkwa business. Seasonings used are curry powder, coconut milk, sugar, sesame oil, fish sauce, liqueur and natural spices.

The first bites yield the familiar sweet-savory taste associated to bakkwa. However, the flavor gradually manifests as sharp, spicy aftertaste. This bakkwa is absolutely special; it is worthwhile to try especially if you love to explore your palate.
Yuen Chen Siang only uses fresh local pork to prepare bakkwa. Despite lower cost, imported frozen pork is not used. In the advent of modern food processing technology, Yuen Chen Siang's products are still manually handcrafted at the insistence of the late Master Goh.

Yuen Chen Siang's bakkwa has shelf life of 6 months. However once the vacuum seal is removed, the meat slices should be consumed quickly because no artificial preservatives are used.

Yuen Chen Siang's bakkwa products come in different shapes, sizes and flavors. Familiar ones are like Gold Coin Dried Pork (富贵金钱肉干) and Dong Bo Pork (东坡肉干). Other interesting choices are Black Pepper Beef Jerky (黑胡椒牛肉干), Almond Meat Jerky (杏仁肉干) and Baba Nyonya Chilli Meat Jerky (娘惹辣肉干). For something more exotic, try the Cheese Meat Jerky (乳酪肉干) or Korean BBQ (韩烧肉干). In addition, Yuen Chen Siang also produces Meat Floss (肉丝). The detailed catalog is available on Yuen Chen Siang's website.
Yuen Chen Siang has several retail outlets mostly in southern and central West Malaysia. There are no retailers in Penang yet, but Yuen Chen Siang also has an online shopping portal. Merchandise can be couriered to the doorstep for a flat rate of RM6.00 per order. Purchases over RM80.00 qualify for free delivery. Delivery to Penang typically takes 2 to 4 working days.

The cutoff date for this coming Chinese New Year is on 13 January 2015, so do hurry if you want to get some in time!

Name: Muar Yuen Chen Siang (麻坡源珍香)
Address: 86, Jalan Meriam, 84000 Muar, Johor
Contact: 06-955-5007
Business hours: 9:00am-9:00pm
Website: http://www.yuen.com.my
Coordinates: 2.04685 N, 102.56831 E
Directions: Drive along the one-way Jalan Meriam (三马路) at the old town district of Muar (麻坡). Muar Yuen Chen Siang is located on the left, between the intersections with Jalan Haji Abu and Jalan Sayang. The shop is located between Oloiya (我来也) and Magnum 4D. Street parking is available on both sides of the road.

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